National Archaeological Museum Gaius Cilnius Maecenas
Amphitheatre and Museum in Arezzo
The Gaius Cilnius Maecenas Archaeological Museum in Arezzo is home to one of the most significant archaeological collections in Tuscany, providing a captivating journey through the millennia-old history of the city. Together with the adjacent Roman Amphitheatre, this museum narrates the tale of Arezzo’s ancient origins.
The museum is housed within the enchanting premises of the former St. Bernard Monastery, constructed in the 14th century. Notably, the monastery’s architecture features a unique arching shape, as it sits directly atop the remnants of the Amphitheatre of Arretium.
Visitors can explore a comprehensive itinerary across 26 rooms spanning two floors. The ground floor showcases artifacts that trace Arezzo’s history from the Etruscan era to late antiquity. Meanwhile, the upper floor offers thematic rooms dedicated to prehistoric artifacts, ceramics, glassware, jewelry, bronzes, numismatics, and collections associated with prominent Aretine figures, including the Bacci family and the renowned archaeologist Gian Francesco Gamurrini.
In the Etruscan section, notable highlights include jewelry from the urban necropolis of Poggio del Sole, painted terracotta fragments that once adorned the city’s temples, and discoveries from the expansive extra-urban sanctuary of Castelsecco.
The Roman section boasts the world’s most extensive collection of terra sigillata vases, known as Arretina vasa or “coral vases” due to their striking coral-red hue. These tableware vases were produced in Arezzo between the mid-1st century BC and the mid-1st century AD, earning the city widespread recognition throughout the Roman Empire and beyond.
Other noteworthy treasures within the museum include a significant Greek crater painted by the renowned Attic ceramographer Euphronios, depicting the epic battle between Hercules and the Amazons. Additionally, visitors can admire a Roman medallion featuring a male portrait rendered in chrysography, a technique involving graffito on gold and silver foil enclosed by glass plates. Dating from the second half of the 3rd century AD, this medallion stands as one of the finest examples of this remarkable craft.
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Visiting National Archaeological Museum Gaius Cilnius Maecenas
Monday to Saturday / 9.00 am – 7.30 pm
Sundays and public holidays / 2.30 pm – 7.30 pm
First Sunday of the month / 9:30 am – 7:30 pm